The Power Drink That Can Help You Resist The Junky Stuff
<b>The craving:</b> Candy at the receptionist's desk, chips in the party bowl.
<br><br><b>Try:</b> Start your day with a green smoothie with plenty of spinach leaves.
<br><br><b>Why:</b> A small Swedish study found that when women had a morning drink made with 5 grams of spinach extract, they reported that <a href="http://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/article/spinach-extract-decreases-cravings" target="_blank">their cravings practically disappeared throughout the day</a>. The study authors think it has to do with spinach's green membranes, which take longer to digest and may also trigger the release of satiety hormones into the intestines, tamping down cravings for unhealthy food. There are caveats: The spinach must be pulverized to release the satiety-inducing compounds (called thylakoids), and the study was quite small. Thylakoids aside, there's probably a powerful placebo effect at work here, says <a href="http://tinaruggiero.com/" target="_blank">Tina Ruggiero, RD</a>, a registered dietician and the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Truly-Healthy-Family-Cookbook-Mega-nutritious/dp/1624140084" target="_blank"><i>The Truly Healthy Family Cookbook</i></a>. Drinking a green veggie drink in the morning has been shown to make people think of themselves as "healthy" and prime them to make healthier decisions the rest of the day.
What To Eat To Curb Your Cravings
You Skimp On Breakfast
Maybe you're not hungry in the a.m., but eating some calories now can keep cravings at bay later. In one study in the Nutrition Journal, overweight girls who ate a 350-calorie breakfast with at least 13 grams of protein had reduced cravings for sweet and savory foods compared to breakfast skippers. Researchers aren't exactly sure why, but protein may help stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurochemical involved in the brain's reward centers that can help manage cravings. A half-cup of cottage cheese, 2 hard-boiled eggs, or a cup of cooked oatmeal with two tablespoons of peanut butter will do the trick.